A pleasant hot air balloon ride in Vancouver proved deadly for some.
Twelve passengers gathered aboard the balloon and prepared for takeoff, when suddenly flames erupted from above. It was discovered that the tubing of the balloon providing the propane to the burners which heat the air came loose. When the tube broke loose, fire began spraying wildly into the basket where passengers had been patiently awaiting lift-off.
MSNBC News reported that Canadian authorities confirmed two of the twelve passengers aboard did not make it out. As the balloon began to rise and the fire spread, there was no chance for escape.
Of the survivors, Jack Ziyone and his family escaped with relatively minor injuries; while others suffered burns and other injuries. The two passengers that did not escape had been the wife and daughter of a survivor.
“When I was on the ground, he was crying and pointing up,” Jack said. “‘My wife and daughter are up there!’ He was crying. He couldn’t do a thing about it.”
The veteran pilot, whose name was not released, had taken 10,000 passengers aloft throughout his career. He escaped with severe burns and was also hospitalized.
Nigel Vonas, an onlooker, who caught the sight on video stated:
It was just excitement to see something very strange going on in the sky. Those thoughts quickly turned to morbid thoughts that perhaps there was something very wrong going on up there.
All I can come up with is just a very simple message: Life is precious… We need to stop for a second. Put down the iPhones, put down the guns and just realize that life is beautiful. You never know when it’s going to be your last chance to say ‘I love you’ to the person beside you.
He’s right – you never know. Tragedy strikes so quickly. The common and expected things in life we take for granted so often. Sometimes, the unexpected happens and our lives are never the same again. But you know that – just keep remembering it.